Does America Have an ‘Official’ Morality?
Former Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is a socialist. So were Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and a host of other charming fellows. But Sanders makes a distinction, he stresses that he’s a “democratic socialist.” You see, Bernie needs some criterion to separate the good socialists, like him, from the moral monsters.
Bernie likes to make grand pronouncements about morality; what’s moral and what’s immoral. Bernie thinks “acting on climate change a moral obligation.” Bernie thinks that it is immoral as well as unjust that our government doesn’t provide healthcare for all; after all, all those socialist European nations provide it. He thinks America’s level of “income inequality is immoral,” not to mention “grotesque.” Sanders even had the chutzpah to go to the Vatican to preach about the “immorality of unfettered capitalism.” One might conclude that if Sanders is against it, then it’s got to be immoral.
Not all that long ago, the American left would call out anyone who dared to make a “value judgment.” Back then there was no right and wrong; “moral relativism” was all the rage. But now the Left hurls moral accusations with abandon. So here’s a question for them: Does America have an “official” morality?
Has the American federal government instituted a morality? If so, where did they get this “government morality”? We have laws against murder, rape, and theft, but it’s not really necessary that lawmakers cleave to any ethical system in order to pass such laws. There are many immoral things that are perfectly legal in America; e.g. you can choose to waste your life, and government won’t stop you.
Invoking the language of morality (and perhaps deliberately glomming onto the old rhetorical device of the “parade of horribles”), Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” To applause and laughter at a recent fundraiser, Clinton said that “half” of Trump supporters were “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it.”
In condemning millions of Americans, Mrs. Clinton is clearly making a moral judgment, but by whose lights? Which moral system is Clinton invoking? If it is a moral system created by those in government, then we can change that moral system, even junk it. For Clinton, if one is against “gay marriage,” then one is homophobic. If one is against the importation of thousands of Syrian refugees who can’t be properly vetted, then one is a racist, a xenophobe, and a hater of Muslims. If one thinks “abortion on demand” is sinful or that the millions of abortions since 1973 are a tragedy, then one hates women, wants to keep them down. In other words, if you don’t think like a progressive, you’re immoral.
I say that Clinton’s plan to import thousands of poorly-vetted Syrian “refugees” is immoral; worse than that, it’s stupid. And we were put in this situation because of the foreign policy of Clinton, who now presumes to lead us. (If Clinton had any morality she would have resigned from State when it became clear that Obama wasn’t going to do anything in response to the crossing of his “red line.”)
Considering all the murder and mayhem brought to our shores by those calling themselves Muslims, it is rather rich for the moral midgets of the Left to express contempt for Americans who have what they call “Islamophobia.”
America does not have an official morality. All we have is the law. And the law is merely what the majority agrees to. It’s against the law to take the life of one’s wife in an “honor killing.” But if one follows sharia, that’s perfectly moral, and perhaps even required. So if one is a Muslim living in America, one can’t entirely follow one’s moral code. But maybe someday “honor killings” will be legal in America. And maybe the genital mutilation of young girls will not only be legal but required. But don’t tell us those practices are moral.
Here’s what the Left just can’t grasp: Unless a moral system is handed down from something higher than us humans, we’re just making it up.
Which is to say, without Something Higher revealing it to us, a moral system is something we invent. Perhaps we invent a morality because it seems reasonable to us. Or maybe it’s because we want to grab the moral high ground so we can accuse our ideological enemies of being “irredeemable,” as Mrs. Clinton did.
But can we hold Hillary to a moral code? She seems incapable of recognizing that she is a chronic liar. Maybe she’s ill.
The Left’s moralizing has become so tedious that it’s become a joke. We see TV wits archly accusing each other of being racist (or some kind of “-ist”) for virtually everything. In her “deplorables” speech, Mrs. Clinton referred to the “LGBT” community, omitting the required “Q.” (It’s LGBTQ, lady. What are you, some kind of closet homophobe?)
If everything is immoral, nothing is immoral. But how moral is our government? At more than a trillion bucks, the government-backed debt racked up by college students is now bigger than credit card debt. Bernie Sanders wants to “forgive” that debt. Is that moral? How moral are those trillion-dollar deficits that Pelosi, Reid, and Obama racked up?
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are moral pygmies, and self-righteous ones at that. But let’s not call them “irredeemable,” that would be unkind.
Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.